What is a Minivan?

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Minivan is an American car classification for vehicles designed to move passengers within the rear seating row(s), with reconfigurable seats in two or three rows. The equivalent terms in British English are multi-purpose vehicles (MPV), people carriers, and other people’s mover. Minivans often have a ‘one-box’ or ‘two-box’ body configuration, a better roof, a flat floor, a door for rear passengers, and high H-point seating.

Compared with a full-size van, minivans are now supported by a railroad car platform and have a lower body (to fit inside a typical garage door opening). Some early versions, like the Ford Aerostar and Chevrolet Astro, utilized a compact pickup platform.

The largest size of minivans is additionally said as ‘Large MPV’ and have become popular following the introduction of the 1984 Renault Espace and Dodge Caravan. Typically, these have platforms derived from D-segment passenger cars or compact pickups. Since the 1990s, the smaller Compact MPV and Mini MPV sizes of minivans have also become popular. If the term ‘minivan’ is employed without specifying a size, it always refers to the biggest size (i.e. Large MPV).



In 1989, the Mazda MPV has introduced because of the first full-size minivan (derived from the Mazda 929 sedan). Developed primarily for American sales, the MPV exceeded Japanese compact size regulations; it was also sold in Japan and other markets. In line with American minivans, a passenger-side door was used; a hinged door was used (a driver-side door was introduced for 1996).



In 1990, the Toyota Previa mid-engine minivan was introduced (sold because of the Estima in Japan). While largely retaining the configuration of its TownAce predecessor, the Previa was designed solely as a passenger vehicle, with nearly panoramic pane (excluding the B and D-pillars). Replaced in North America by the locally produced Sienna, Previa remains in production for Japanese and Australian markets; the larger Alphard is produced as a luxury vehicle.



Following the introduction of the Nissan Quest (co-developed with Ford for North America), Nissan introduced the Nissan Elgrand in 1997 for worldwide markets; the Nissan Serena has grown into the big MPV segment moreover.



Honda has produced its Honda Odyssey line of minivans since 1994; since 1999, a separate (larger) version has been produced for u. s. and Canada. Until 2013, the Japan-produced version of the Odyssey was designed with front-hinged doors. in an exceeding design feature that was adopted by other manufacturers, the primary generation of the Odyssey featured a rear seat that folded flat into the ground.



Expanding beyond compact MPVs, Mitsubishi entered the minivan segment in 2003 with the Mitsubishi Grandis, using front-hinged doors. Sold outside of North America, the Grandis was marketed through 2011.



Adapting an analogous layout to the Chrysler minivans, the Kia Carnival (also sold the Kia Sedona) was introduced in 1998 with dual sliding doors. Sharing its configuration with the Honda Odyssey, the Hyundai Trajet was sold from 1999 to 2008 in markets outside of North America; the Hyundai Entourage was a rebadged Kia Sedona.

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